Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev both faced scares on Monday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but unlike Carlos Alcaraz found a way to advance.

Rublev continued his impressive European clay form when he defeated Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6(8), 6-3 to reach the fourth round in Rome.

Competing in front of a raucous crowd on Pietrangeli, the sixth seed swung freely and battled hard to earn his 25th win of the season. Rublev saved three set points in the first set, rallying from 3/6 in the tie-break, before he saved both break points he faced in the second set to advance after one hour and 48 minutes.

“I am happy. It was another tough battle against Alejandro,” Rublev said. “Today I was 3/6 down in the tie-break and was really lucky I was able to win the first set. It gave me huge confidence and I think it brought him down mentally. That is why I was able to start the second set well. It took him time to recover and he was close to coming back, but I was lucky to hold my serve at the end.”


Rublev, who struck 23 winners, now leads Davidovich Fokina 3-0 in his ATP Head2Head series. In Dubai, Rublev saved five match points to down the Spaniard in three sets. The World No. 6’s best result in Rome was a run to the quarter-finals in 2021 and he will aim to match that feat when he next faces Yannik Hanfmann. The German qualifier defeated Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Rublev holds a 12-2 record on clay this season, having captured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo last month. The 25-year-old is currently sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and could rise to third with the title.


Medvedev broke new ground in Rome, where he overcame Bernabe Zapata Miralles 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the fourth round for the first time.

“I managed to play better. Put more balls in the court and serve better,” Medvedev said. “That is the thing about clay for me. At the beginning of the match, you can’t just hit four aces to get your game going. A few double faults and a few missed shots and the first set was over.

“I started playing better, I knew I had to continue. It is my third win this season on clay coming from a set down, so I knew I could do it. I am definitely playing my best tennis on clay right now. I have never played so well in Rome or in Madrid. I am feeling great.”

Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
The 27-year-old recovered from a slow start, soaking up the Spaniard’s heavy hitting with his flat groundstrokes in the second and third sets to advance after one hour and 52 minutes.

With his Tour-leading 35th match win of the year, the third-seeded Medvedev set a potential fourth-round clash against Alexander Zverev. The German, who faces J.J. Wolf in the third round, trails Medvedev 6-8 in their ATP Head2Head series, with Medvedev winning their past meeting in Monte-Carlo last month.

Medvedev is chasing his fifth title of the season this week in the Italian capital. He has triumphed at hard-court events in Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai and Miami.